We are pleased to announce the launch of our new website, whatiftechnologies.com. The site has undergone a much-needed facelift and the addition of some new content and product information. But the major change - and the one we are most excited about - is the introduction of an online whatIf? User Community.
Over the last 20 years we have had the privilege to work with a variety of innovative clients on a range of challenging projects. Much of the depth and richness of the whatIf? Modelling Platform is the cumulative result of these varied client interactions. As we look back, we see that part of our company's role has been that of a "knowledge hub", sharing knowledge among clients (often across subject domains) through our experience and through our ever-growing modelling platform.
Today we continue to provide value to our clients through this knowledge-hub role. However, we recognize that in the context of the available "Web 2.0" collaboration infrastructure we are also knowledge bottlenecks - our user base has the potential to exchange information more rapidly than we (as individuals) can facilitate.
As a first step towards harnessing the collective knowledge of our users, we are introducing the whatIf? Community Forums. We are starting with two forums: whatIf? Modelling Platform - General, and Modelling Concepts and Methods. As their names suggest, the first is for discussion related to all aspects and components of the whatIf? Modelling Platform, including Documenter (design), the TOOL language, calibration, data import/export, SAMM (scenario management) and visualization. The content of the second forum need not relate to the whatIf? platform directly - it is for conceptual and methodological modelling discussion which may include specific subject matter domains (demographics, energy, emissions, land use, transportation, water, etc.). Naturally there will be some posts which overlap the two categories but we leave it to users' judgment as to which forum to choose, or whether to flip a coin! If the posting volume necessitates a finer topic breakdown we will add more forums.
As we launch the forums at this time, they are empty. But as with any knowledge-sharing common resource their value increases over time with more users and greater use. While we continue to directly support clients using our platform and our model implementations, we will encourage clients to start using the forums to "sound out" a larger pool of modellers. As a company we will actively monitor and participate in the forums, but as a free service one can understand that our participation will be secondary to other client commitments.
Note that forum use is not restricted to whatIf? clients. Anyone can view, and also post (with free registration). Also note that the forums support RSS feeds, which allow users to monitor forum activity without having to visit the website. A review of popular RSS feed readers is available here.
Download Manager (for clients)
whatIf? clients will be pleased to learn that we have introduced a new web-based Download Manager for whatIf? software downloads and secure file transfers, accessible from the Support page. New account credentials will be sent to clients in a separate email.
We welcome your comments and feedback on the new site and forums. And stay tuned for the addition of other collaborative tools in the not-too-distant future as we build an online whatIf? User Community.
- The whatIf? Team